Wisconsin Badgers predictions: Game 10 at Nebraska
Remember when Nebraska was the toast of the town (or at least many pundits) before the start of the season?
Fast forward to the present day and Wisconsin is a two-touchdown favorite over the Cornhuskers on Saturday — despite this game being played in Lincoln.
At one one point early on was thought to be a potential important, perhaps even deciding, game for the Big Ten West has, well, lost some of its luster.
Wisconsin isn’t exactly on a hot streak, having lost two of its last three — with the two defeats coming on the road. The Badgers haven’t won away from Camp Randall Stadium since Aug. 30 (OK, that was also their only other road game of the year).
But Nebraska is sputtering, having lost four of its last five. The Huskers are 3-2 at home, but lost their last game at Memorial Stadium, 38-31 to Indiana.
We’re guessing the predictions for this game would have been a lot different back in August. But it’s November, and even those who cover Nebraska don’t see the Cornhuskers winning.
Here’s this week’s predictions from around the web and Twitter:
The Associated Press’ Ralph D. Russo: Wisconsin 38, Nebraska 17.
Pete Fiutak of Collegefootballnews.com: Wisconsin 34, Nebraska 20. “How good has Jonathan Taylor been against Nebraska? In two games, he’s been able to crank out 470 yards and five touchdowns. The Wisconsin defense will have a few meltdowns against a Nebraska offense that has just enough pop to be a wee bit of a concern, but Taylor will go off, and QB Jack Coan will hit third down throw after third down throw.”
Bill Bender of The Sporting News: Wisconsin 37, Nebraska 21. “The Huskers had a week off to try to fix a defense that 31 points per game in losses to Minnesota, Indiana and Purdue. This is a chance to show progress against another physical opponents, but the Badgers hang on to their Big Ten West championship hopes here.”
Sam McKewon of the Omaha World-Leader: Wisconsin 33, Nebraska 21. “The Badgers are unchanging and happy to be that way. Nebraska is undergoing its most significant transformation since the mid-2000s. Is there a game, just one, where NU shows its progress and fights in an unexpected way? Yes, but Wisconsin’s run game is what it is — excellent. Even against good defenses.”
Brandon Cavanaugh of Athlon Sports: Wisconsin 45, Nebraska 24. “Even if the Big Red offense can finally get in gear, it’s hard to imagine the Blackshirts being able to stop Jonathan Taylor from getting his yardage and repeatedly scoring as he did last year. … Jack Coan will continue to lead a smooth passing attack to give Wisconsin some balance. Nebraska must be at least plus-two if not plus-three in turnovers to keep this game close. If the margin is even or the Huskers find themselves in the negative, this one could get even more ugly. However, a garbage-time touchdown may make the game look closer than it actually would be.”
Joel Reuter of Bleacher Report: Wisconsin 30, Nebraska 13. “Nebraska is just 1-4 in its last five games and has gotten smoked by Ohio State (48-7) and Minnesota (34-7) along the way. The Cornhuskers’ 83rd-ranked rushing defense (173.7 yards per game) will have no answer for Jonathan Taylor, who’ll top 200 yards on the ground for a second straight week.”
Chad Leistikow of the Des Moines Register: Wisconsin 42, Nebraska 24. “Nebraska is coming off an idle week, while Wisconsin is fresh off a dogfight with Iowa. The Huskers should have motivation, needing two wins for crucial eligibility (they finish with Maryland, which should be a win, and Iowa).”
Andy Greder of the Pioneer Press: Wisconsin 31, Nebraska 20.
Josh Slagter of MLive.com: Wisconsin 34, Nebraska 14. ” The Badgers got back on track against Iowa last week, but not before giving up 16 fourth-quarter points. Meanwhile, the Cornhuskers are coming off a bye and desperately need two wins in their final three games to be bowl eligible. The issue for Nebraska is a defense that gives up more than 400 yards per game and a QB (Adrian Martinez) that has been inconsistent when healthy this season. It’s hard to trust Scott Frost’s team, 0-6 against the spread in its last six Big Ten games.”
The Oklahoman’s Berry Tramel: Wisconsin 30, Nebraska 14.
Brad Crawford and Chris Hummer of 247 Sports: Crawford – Wisconsin 24, Nebraska 7; Hummer – Wisconsin 24, Nebraska 13.
Former Cornhuskers defensive end Adam Carriker: Wisconsin 31, Nebraska 17.
James Kratch of NJ.com: Doesn’t offer a score, but picks Wisconsin to win.
All three sports editors at the Daily Nebraskan think Wisconsin will win. The scores: 45-20, 51-13, 38-25.
Al Arend of the Herald-Palladium: Wisconsin 35, Nebraska 21.
Teddy Greenstein of the Chicago Tribune is taking Wisconsin and the points, which obviously means he thinks the Badgers will win. “The Freedom Trophy has gone to the winner of this rivalry since 2014. Or has it? Yes on the trophy. No on the rivalry. ‘The trophy’s never left here, so I don’t think it’s a rivalry yet,’ Badgers linebacker Zack Baun said. ‘It’s just another football game.’ Will those words fire up the Huskers enough to cover a large spread? Nah. Go with UW.”
Joe Vozzelli of the Champaign News-Gazette: Wisconsin 27, Nebraska 21.
Bill Connelly of ESPN: His S&P+ projection has it Wisconsin 35, Nebraska 18.
SportsLine Projection Model: Wisconsin 31, Nebraska 17.
All nine analysts for the Dallas Morning News have Wisconsin winning and all but one think the Badgers will cover a 13 1/2-point spread.
All three Athlon Sports analysts are picking Wisconsin to win.
All six analysts at USAToday.com pick Wisconsin to win.
All three analysts at FootballScoop.com pick Wisconsin to win.